Monday, September 1, 2014

Time Lapse Takeover

A year ago we bought a condo for the man cub to live in during the rest of his time at MSU.  Made sense, overall it will be cheaper than rent, and putting in a roommate practically covered the costs.  That was the plan.....

1.  We said no pets.  In comes a kitten.  We said cats ruin furniture

2.  $1100 couch now has holes in it.

3.  We said no pets.  In comes a dog.  We said dogs ruin furniture.

4.  IKEA chair chewed up.

5.  We said roommate stays.  The rent is your spending money.  Last month of spring semester, roommate is told to move out.

6.  Girl friend officially moves in.  Still under a lease for an apartment.  Not paying rent.

7.  $1100 leather couch with holes gets sold to shackup's sister for $200.  Are you kidding me????

8.  Nice plush oriental rug is retuned to us. 'It sheds".

9.  All living room furniture we put in the condo is now gone.

10.  Another pet.  A great dane, plus the cat and other dog.  (Shackup's parents have great Danes)

11.  Kitchen inventory slowly being replaced.  Coffeepot gone.    calophon cookware replaced with cheap set that can be put in the dishwasher.

12.  Satellite TV contract canceled, now TV used for internet stuff.  No local news, no TV football, etc....

13.  Second bedroom now a storage room,  closet full with you know what, and second bathroom now occupied.

14.  Complaint that the comode bowl has too much water in it.  Guessing her water pressure is causing a splashback!

15.  Condo no longer has look and feel of a male college abode.  Shack up has officially moved in and claimed it "hers".

16.  Both will graduate in May 2016.  Man cub will got to work.  Shackup plans to go to Vet School at MSU.  Condo will be listed for sale June 2016.

Man cub is an honor student majoring in electrical engineering.  So far all A's and just one B.  Studies all the time.  Doing the CO-OP to make sure EE is the right occupation choice.  Shackup has the implant, hoping it continues to work.  Hurts to see all this happening to him.  Keeping mouth closed, trying not to drive a wedge.  June 2016 can't get here fast enough.

This one didn't make it to FB for obvious reasons.  Head clearing time......

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gameday Starkville

The event was planned for months.  First game in expanded stadium.  Bigger crowds, more noise, and two jumbotrons!  Made an early scouting trip last week to find a new tailgating spot, since the reseating put us on the other side.  Decided to shoot for a spot near the Student Union.  Smaller crowds, shaded, and shouting distance to real restrooms, and worse case, weather shelter.  My early years of Boy Scouting done kicked in!

I gave man cub instructions to find a spot "under a tree, near the road, on high ground, in case of rain."  He did an outstanding job!  Car was loaded to the top with enough chairs and food for a small army.  Some stuff will be staying in Starkville for future gameday Saturdays.

Food pics were posted to FB as they were finished.  Oatmeal butterscotch cookies, chocolate chip pecan cookies, dawgbone sugar cookies, and cheese straws were prepared the night before.  Morning of the game the sausage balls were put in the oven.  Figured out to make rotel with sausage on game day, put in ziploc bags and store in insulated bag.  Doesn't take very long to reheat in chafing dish since cheese is still warm.

Called the man cub as we were leaving to remind him to pick up bottled water and three bags of ice.  We had the rest covered.  Man cub wanted brats with onions and peppers for the first game.  His responsibilities were tent setup, and bringing the Weber Q and the propane.

The spousal unit had been worried about the weekend weather.  She was watching the updated rain reports every 30 minutes.  It got comical seeing 56.2% chance then 81.9% chances for rain.  We arrived bone dry.  We were able to unload the car within 30 yards of our spot.  Outstanding!  Friend Theo, one of those Southern Golden Buzzard fans arrived and assisted with the setup while I went to park.

Man cub arrived a few minutes later, with the three bags of ice, a case of bottled water and the girly friend in tow.  I gave him a quick look, then he got the "rut row" look from me.  I casually commented, "and.... where is the grill and gas???"  The look he gave me was priceless!

Back to the condo he went!  Only a 15 minute round trip, plus parking, plus the walk back to the tent.  He arrived, carrying the propane bottle on his shoulder, pulled the Weber Q, soaking wet from head to toe.  The round trip was during the biggest downpour of the day.  I hen asked, "I guess you forgot the griddle too?  He just melted, I'm cracking up!  fortunately I brought some metal pie pans and heavy duty foil just in case.  Boy Scout kicking in again!

The fellow campers were tailgating in style.  Big and small tents, charcoal and gas grills a blazing, generators humming, and sound was blaring from TV's and stereos.  Wide screen TV's went blank once the weather hit.  It is comical watching these people scramble to protect their investments, especially on a day with 80+% chance of rain!  Later, everything went quiet when the generators began running out of gas.

We had a good many visitors during the day with a few no shows.  Surprised by the number of folks wearing that black and gold polyester!  Had way too much food, but hey, gotta feed the man cub during the week.

Suddenly , we heard a band playing and marching down the street.  It was the Southern Miss Band on their way to the stadium.  Their sound was soon drowned out by the clanging of hundreds of cowbells ringing!

Stadium now has lots of entrances to choose from.  Having two jumbotrons is amazing.  They got some work to do on the sound, as all we heard was muffled conversations.  The sound on the new screen wasn't turned on, yet...

Game for Bulldogs was outstanding.  The excitement level will build as the season grows.  I loved the short walk from our spot.  Seat is great with minimal steps.  Nephew Chase and Tara are only 9
seats away.  Gonna have to practice ringing my cowbell dinner bell for concession service from him!

Every game has its drunks, and we had a few down in front of us.  Lots of words throw about, and a visit by the Popo.  Nuthing but feeling got hurt on this day, thankfully.

Packing up was not much fun.  With over 66,000 in attendance, traffic was outbound only.  Gotta work on departure logistics for future games.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back in the Day

Reminiscing about days gone bye.  Don't necessarily want to go back in time, but:

1.  Listening to the attic fan pulling bugs through the screened window

2.  Hand cranking homemade ice cream.

3.  Cotton trailer stomping parties during picking season

4.  Being hot a thirsty from mowing yards and killing a quart coke in those returnable bottles.

5.  RC Cola and a moon pie!

6.  First time to ever microwave a whole egg.  Kaboom!

7.  Riding in the back of a pickup!

8.  First time finding WZZQ on the FM band on the radio.

9.  First adult purchase.  A Pioneer receiver and a pair of Jenson speakers.  Damn!  You mean I gotta add a turn table and cassette deck too!

10.  That first Olds Cutlass that looked like the 442!

11.  My bright yellow firebird.  Got more tickets in the shortest time span in that car!

12.  My second pair of glasses.  Wire rimmed frames paid for with my own hard earned money!

13.  First time I ever saw a piece of filet mignon.  What the hell is that small round ball of meat????

14.  First Ole Miss football game.  Brother Jim, Billy Davis and I went with Billy's uncle, Gordon Wayne Davis, parking the car in the Grove, and seeing Southern Miss beat Archie Manning and his Rebels.

15.  Coming to Jackson to Memorial Stadium for a double header.  Ole Miss vs LSU during the day then MSU vs Alabama.

16.  First time seeing puppies born.  You gotta be kidding me!!!!

17.  Mississippi Delta dove hunts!

18.  First time to buy a fifth of whiskey.  17 years old, football weekend in Starkville.  I can still see the snicker on that old man's face as he handed me my change!

19. Discovering the Manhattan's album "After Midnight" with the girl of my dreams.  Been dreaming with the same gal ever since.

20.  First trip to New Orleans.  Haven't been the same since!

I sure hope my memory never fades.  I've had way too much fun in my lifetime to begin forgetting it now.  Been fin, and I ain't done yet!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Internet Shopper

I was working my job as an assembly technician yesterday in the City of Vicksburg.  After putting in a long day, I now understand the term "the dog days summer", in August.  OMG, was it hot!

I finished my last item, then headed to the receiving department, to begin the process of disposing of all my trash.  As I made my way, I noticed a grill still in a box that was a custom order.  I thought, that dude shoulda requested for it to be assembled, free at Home Depot.

Trash all done, I headed to the service desk to get the required signature on my paperwork.  Get there, and the service manager is busy with a customer.  OK, guess I'll wait my turn.  At least its cool inside.

As I wait, I observe that the service manager if working with this customer, who had placed an internet order.  He bought the exact model that was in the box back in receiving.  The manager tells him that his grill is here, and back in receiving.  I'm thinking, yep, this old guy shoulda had it assembled.

The customer, then says, " and I want it assembled".  I'm standing there, next to him, in my assembler t-shirt.    I'm thinking, you know, I've been here all day, I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm covered in sweat, I'm gonna just keep my mouth shut!

The service manager says "I'm checking with the sales associate in the garden center to see how long it will take the assembler to put it together for you.  He is here today and he only comes one day a week now that the summer is winding down. Up to this point she has not looked my way during this entire transaction. Mouth is still shut.

Customer says OK, and decides he wants to inspect the box for damage.  Off he goes.  My mouth is still shut.  Its now my turn.

Service manager finally looks up, and I hand her my invoice for her to sign.  Startled, she says, " oh, you're the assembly tech!". I say yes ma'am.  She then asks the dreaded question "you got time"?   I tell her that I have been here since 7 this morning (its now 4:20), and they brought a bunch of items to assemble, but that grill wasn't one of them.  She kinda chuckles, and says that this order was an online purchase and the sale did not come through until 4. I say, " that was twenty minutes ago, and I've been standing here for at least ten!"

The guy was at home and ordered the grill online.  Home Depot sent him an automated text message indicating that the grill was at his local Home Depot, waiting on him.  He must a flew to get to the store in ten minutes, and he was expecting it to already be assembled?

Wow!  See how amazing ordering off the internet can be?  Sorry dude, grill won't be assembled for another week!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Life Lessons

In all of my almost 58 years, there are some things you should not try to learn on your own:

1. Buying a car.  You would think that something that big would not take all day to purchase.  After you're done, you feel like you've been beat up with a broom stick and then you feel that stick again when you take it in for a service item that ain't covered by that extended warranty that they "snuck into the contract"!

2.  Cooking with an iron skillet.  First off you never start off with a brand new one.  You give the new one to your parents and take theirs, then bring it back in a year.  Get your momma (or daddy) to show you how to clean it and keep it seasoned.  My uncle had one so old that he eventually cooked a hole in it!

3.  Driving a standard transmission vehicle.  This is something that must be learned.  I still feel the effects of whiplash from teaching the spousal unit and the boys.  Once you learn it, you never forget it, or the process it took to learn it.

4.  Setting up a tailgating tent.  Don't know how many times I see folks with pinched fingers or broken poles from setting up one of these tents the first time.  Then they get in a hurry during take down and learn them all over again.

5.  Cooking a turkey for the first time.  Amazing how intelligent people can't just look it up on the internet.  " Damn!  I didn't know it had a neck up in the carcass?  And what do you mean, when you say a sack of innards???"   Then there are those that darn near burn the house down trying to fry one!

6.  Go Sam's Wholesale Club.  Never go by yourself the first time.  You won't stop grabbing until your cart is full, and still you might grab a second one.  Then, how do you get all that stuff home and where do you store it?

7.  Power tools, enough said.  Done cut myself, done cut a few 11cords, drilled and stapled a finger or two.  Still have all my digits though.

8.  Turn a parent over the age of 70 loose on a computer without monitoring their activity for a couple of hours.  Mine ended up on eBay in less than 24 hours!  The other set of grandparents never know how all those popups got on their machine!

9.  Homemade ice cream.  Seriously!  One neighbor forgot to put the dasher in and didn't figure that out until an hour later.  Another plugged up the drain hole in the bucket, causing salt water to creep into the freezer bucket!

10.   Women.  Raised by one.  Got a sister.  Been married to one for over 30 years and still trying to figure them out!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Football, Politically Correct

Football season is officially upon us.  High School Jamborees have arrived, and NFL preseason games are in full swing.  With the way the world is evolving, eventually political correctness will totally take over the football arena.

Already, inappropriate banners are banned from high school stadiums.  No more "we're gonna beat the crap out of you".  Now its just " go team go!"

In the NFL, the Washington Redskins are in a battle to keep their team name and logo.  You gotta be kidding me.  The New Orleans Saints are all about smash mouth football, and they are the "saints?". The Tennessee " Titans", now that makes a whole lot more sense.

In the town of Oxford, they have a bigger battle on their hands.  The Rebel flag: it took some maneuvering to rid the stadium of these.  First the school stopped supplying them.  Then they finally had to ban sticks from the stadium.  Hummmm,  the drummers still have theirs.  Colonel Reb:  this character was modeled after a black man.  His image was removed from the football helmets.  Then,  he was dropped as a school representative, and not allowed on the field of play.  Next, he was banned from the stadium, regardless of who was wearing the suit.  Now, the trademarked image is locked up in the vault and no longer available for sale.  And the Black Bear, you gotta be kidding me.....

These Rebel fans are now in an uproar over the use of their beloved "Ole Miss".  Dan Jones has stepped on a hornets nest in his attempt to make this name go away.  I can just hear it " first DOWN, the University of Mississippi!". Or "We ARE, the University of Mississippi Rebels!". Sorry, just too wordy.  And the team name, " Rebels", don't even go there, yet......

 At Mississippi State, the cowbell has made its return.  It was banned when the Auburn head coach complained that it made too much noise.  Now that college stadiums can hold over 100,000 screaming fans it has become a mute point and now the bell is back, clanging away, until the center is over the ball.  Now that the stadium expansion is complete, forming a continuous "U", the bulldog fan noise factor has just gone up!  And I guess State's favorite cheer " go to hell Ole Miss, go to hell" will be soon forgotten. TSUN was a stroke of genius by Dan Mullen......

I'm guessing concessions will be taking the next hit.  Hot dogs will be vegan dogs.  It already started when they pulled the Bryan Hot Dog, for that Carolina Pride dog two years ago.  Burgers, if you can find one, will be veggie burgers.  Pulled pork nachos will become humus nachos.  And pork skins, forget about it!  Sugar is supposed to be bad for you, so say good bye to that coke you've been putting in your bourbon!  Peanuts will be banned when the cleanup crews start protesting about the mess!

Stay tuned for what they come up with next!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beaching Secrets

Mixed feelings today as we head home tomorrow.  Since this is our last beach trip for 2014, I figured it was time to let ya know about some of the secrets and hints for a fun time at the beach.

If you just got married and you are on your honeymoon, you don't need any help.  You probably won't ever leave your room!
If you have a 1-2 year old, bring grand parents along.  They make great babysitters that give you free time to enjoy the beach.

Beach chair and umbrella setups run around $40 per day.  Invest in a set of good beach chairs and an umbrella that run about $100.  You have already saved money and you should get 1-3 years use out of them.

If your beach front is a bit overcrowded, consider moving to a State park.  Admission is about $6 for up to eight people in Florida.  Be sure to pack a picnic lunch, and plenty of cool drinks.  With your own umbrella and chairs you will have a great time on a sparsely populated stretch of beach.

My cooler of choice is a soft sided one.  Sometimes I bring two.  Bring along some Capri Sun's and freeze them as a great substitute for ice.  Margaritas made the mofght before and frozen in quart ziploc bags are my favorite ice substitute.  This beats hauling/dragging a big cooler around, or worse that heavy Yeti!

Use Gladware or Ziploc storage boxes for transporting sandwiches.  They stay dry and keep their shape better.

We stay in units that have washers and dryers in the units.  You go home with clean clothes.  Its such a relief to walk in the door at home knowing the laundry is already done.

When eating out, go early.  Much shorter wait if you go between 5&6.  If you have a large party, break it into parties of 4-6 and you will get seated faster, and you avoid that 18% add on for a mandatory tip.  I'm a pretty good tipper unless the service sucks.

If you are leaving real early in the morning, grab the luggage cart the night before.  No scrambling around the next morning looking for it!

If you have a Netflix account, don't forget to bring your latest movies along or a patch cable for the online ones.  Saves you a trip to Redbox and the DVDs at the complex are usually dated.

Check with the complex before you start you trip too see if the have a grill area, and whether its gas or charcoal.  This helps you decide about cooking and eating in a night or two.

Its been a great season of beaching for the spousal unit and yours truly.  We are already working on plans for next year, probably the Sandestin and Panama City beaches.  Would love to have some company !